Monday, December 2, 2013

Machine Quilting~"Finish a Project" Winner

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Hi Everyone!

I've got  my quilt set up to machine quilt! This is always the scariest part because I REALLY don't want to mess it up! I have the quilt layers all pinned together and the quilt is sitting on my APQS George cabinet, waiting for me to sit down and quilt!

Here is my "George," Whom I really want to get to know!
I mean use him much, that I can quilt with my eyes closed.
The first thing I need to do is get the machine set up with the tension for the quilt. It seems that each quilt needs to have the tension re-set. I quilted a quilt for my daughter-in-law last year for Christmas, and I never did get the tension right. And I fussed with it for hours! I finally gave up and just started quilting. It seemed the faster I went, the better the stitch, which really didn't make sense to me. You would think the stitch would be the same no matter how fast you went.

Well, I talked to the APQS people at Fall Quilt Market in Oct. and they gave me some tips on how to fix the tension....So, I'll try their suggestions.

1. Try a different needle.
These are the needles that were recommended to me by the APQS demonstrator at Quilt Market.






































2. Try changing the thread path on the upper thread. (There are a few different paths.) Anyone have a suggestion of a thread that you love for machine quilting?
3. Tighten the upper thread, and really turn the knob, different than a domestic machine.
4. Try different threads, possibly a thinner weight. (I was using 50 wt. I may try a 60 wt.) I've been using Aurifil, and will try it again, with the new needle.
5. Adjust the hopper foot, to see if it hits at the correct pressure. They said to use a credit card and make sure that after the foot is down, try pulling the card and see that it gives me a little tug.

Okay, so, I should be set....after I try the above. I'll let you know how it goes!

NOW, on to the winner of the Finish a Project contest. (I was a little disappointed that I didn't get more people involved.) So, we really only have one person who sent me unfinished pictures and a finished picture! And that person is: DEBRA N.

Debra N. unfinished wedding quilt.

Debra N. finished quilt!
Debra N., You are the winner of the Clover mini iron! Please email me with your address, and I'll ship it off to you! Congratulations for finishing your project and letting us help you to be accountable for finishing!
What project are you working on right now! Is it a Christmas Gift?
xoxo
Denise

23 comments :

  1. Thank you so much. I did finish my table runners, placemats and mug rugs too, just didn't take time to send you those. I will e-mail you today. Merry Christmas.

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  2. Suggestions for thread...my Innova loves anything Superior! King Tut 40 wt. or Sew Fine 50 and 40 wt. on top are my "normal" - and Bottom Line 60 wt. in my bobbin. Maybe you are having trouble with your tension because most longarms "prefer" a thicker top thread and thinner bobbin thread. Of course, you can do what you want (I've used Bottom Line top and bottom with great results)! I have a practice sandwich of muslin and batting that I check my tension on every time I change my bobbin - love the TOWA gauge to get the bobbin tension the same all the time so I only have to play with the top tension. Another thing that will throw off your tension is to get a little piece of lint in the finger of the bobbin case...so hard to see but easily removed with a business card! I really like the education given on the Superior Thread site.

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  3. Congratulations Debra.

    I was going to send pictures but never got around to it. You snooze you loose :)

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  5. I have a TL18LS on a frame. I use all kinds of threads and combinations of threads. Most usually it's a 100% poly (40 wt) in the top, and either the same in the bobbin, or a serger wt thread in the bobbin.
    By Margie Campbell

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    Replies
    1. wow, sounds like you have an easy time with any thread you want to use. Not sure what the machine is, but, looks like a great one. Thanks.

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  6. Hi Denise, I use Magna Glide bobbins with Glide thread on top. It's the perfect combination for my APQS Millennium. I can go from to quilt to quilt without adjusting the tension if I use this combination of threads.
    By Debbie Webster

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    Replies
    1. I'll check out the "Glide" Thread, someone else mentioned it to me a year ago and I've not looked into it, now, that I've had several mention how they like it, I'll have to do it! Thanks.

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  7. Sandi Irish
    owner, designer, ceo, janitor at The Irish Chain

    I use the same in the bobbin as the top thread. I don't get the idea of using a weaker thread in the bobbin just because it's thinner and you can put more on the bobbin. I think they should be the same, jmho.

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    Replies
    1. thanks Sandi, I appreciate your comments. I'll be experimenting to see what works. I've got some extra fabric/batting to really play around with the threads.

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  8. Vivien Levermore

    I have found I get great results using Bottom Line by Superior Threads or Coats Bobbin Thread, they are definately not weaker, just much finer and it really does save time changing bobbins when freemotion quilting

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    Replies
    1. I've heard great things about Superior Threads, too. I'll look into that. haven't thought about Coats, I do have quite a bit of their thread. Worth a try! Thanks.

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  9. Margie Campbell
    Owner, Quilting by Marge

    I sometimes use serger thread in the bobbin, especially if I'm working with a really slick thread on top. It's strong & will "grab" the slick thread and I get a much nicer stitch. I always tell folks that there are as many ways to do things, as there are folks to do them...same in quilting...I do what works for me. I do find that even though two machines came off the assembly line at the same time...they will have their own thread preferrences....so use what works for you & your machine.

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    1. I do have some serger thread, I also have some pre wound bobbins from APQS to try...but, they sent some strange colors, like dark blue and green...I don't use those colors much...I agree, each machine is different. I've found that our with many other devices that I own, which were the same.

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  10. I find George to be thread friendly and have used a wide variety of threads in the top and bobbin. Top threads I have used include Aurifil 50 wt cotton, Superior Masterpiece cotton, YLI variegated cotton, Superior Kimono silk 100 wt, YLI 100 wt silk, Superior Rainbows poly, Superior King Tut cotton. Can you tell I love Superior threads? When I use cotton or silk thread in the top, I use Aurifil 50 wt cotton or Masterpiece cotton in the bobbin. When I use polyester thread in the top, I use Masterpiece So Fine poly in the bobbin. The 100 wt silk in the top works beautifully with 50 wt cotton in the bobbin.

    Happy holidays,
    Pam
    By Pam Raby

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    1. Pam, that is good to know! I'll try different threads and see what happens, it may all be how I thread the thread through the tension knobs... I'll keep trying!

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    2. Hi again Denise,
      I feel I can use any good quality thread with George. I typically adjust the upper thread tension to accommodate the different weights of thread ... looser tension for heavier threads. Since I warm up before doing free motion work, I check thread tension then so it isn't really an extra step.

      Only occasionally do I need to also adjust the bobbin tension. Last time I bought bobbin cases for George, they weren't terribly expensive so I have several on hand. Rather than fiddle when I change the weight of thread in the bobbin, I have a bobbin case for heavy weight threads, medium and fine to save time.

      Hope that helps!
      Pam

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  11. Hi Denise, I use Magna Glide bobbins with Glide thread on top. It's the perfect combination for my APQS Millennium. I can go from to quilt to quilt without adjusting the tension if I use this combination of threads.
    By Debbie Webster

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  12. Hi Denise. I have an APQS Lenni. I think the APQS machines should accommodate a wide variety of thread choices. A tip that I read recently was to begin with your bobbin tension. That should be adjusted so that when you lay the bobbin case flat in your hand and pull on the thread, the bobbin case should stand up on edge, but it should not come up and off of your palm. Then you adjust the top tension to the setting that works well with the bobbin tension.
    I also love the Glide thread and pre-wound magnetic bobbins. I have also used So-fine and Aurifil threads, with pre-wound bobbins (Bottom-line, I think).
    Now, metallic thread wants to fight with me. Anybody have tips for using metallics on a longarm machine?
    By Pat Hanna

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  13. It's great for red work. I've put 2 threads (40 tex?) through the needle on my old sewing machine. I wonder if the new Pfaff will take it.
    By judy Lyon

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. I have a Nolting long-arm, and I use a huge variety of threads to suit my purposes. I know some people like something like sew-fine, etc. in the bobbin. There are probably fewer tension issues. But because I sell pantographs I always want my stitching to show up. It's not unusual for me to use a heavy thread in the bobbin and 2 or 3 threads in the needle, such as 2 strands of solid color and a metallic. Metallic doesn't have a strong color presence so I almost always use a solid color with it, eg. with gold I use a golden yellow.
      By judy Lyon

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  14. I have Janome 2165 GC. machine quilting is newto me.. I would love to have referral to machine quilting site.

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Thank you for your comments! I really enjoy what you have to say!